timprov (timprov) wrote,

Dear lazyweb

Edit: I found my own answer: yes. So this statistic is completely disingenuous.

When we see statistics quoted that are like "the top 1% of Americans own xx% of the wealth, the top 10% own xx%, and the bottom 50% own x.x%," is that total net worth including debt? Can we expect the bottom 1% under this metric to own, like, -40% of America?

Since these are almost always tossed around by people wishing to push the idea of economic disparity, I presume it must be, cause they wouldn't be sitting around thinking "we could make this look worse, but why bother." But I figured somebody reading this would probably actually know the answer.

Either way, getting an accurate picture obviously requires knowing how and where the debt lives.
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